Asean students able to assist regional communities

KUALA LUMPUR: The Student Volunteer Foundation (YSS) is able to develop Asean student volunteers into role models who are capable of assisting regional communities during crisis situations, said its chairman Datuk Zuraidah Atan.

Zuraidah said this was because at every volunteer programme, students would be given the exposure to be involved in community development activities.

Since YSS was established in 2012, 1,500 members have been actively involved in carrying out volunteer work in Asean countries, she added.

“We are not only actively developing volunteer leaders in Malaysia but also in other countries.

“We want to produce volunteers who are role models and able to share their knowledge at an international level,” she said at the YSS- Asean Volunteer Leadership Development Programme (VLDP) and YSS- Asean Alumni Strategic Retreat (ASR) in Bangi on Thursday. The six-day programme began on Dec 12.

   YSS is an organisation that brings together student volunteers from higher education institutions representing 10 Asean countries.

A Malaysian student, Taqiuddin Hamzah, 27, said after a one year experience in YSS and working with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), he has developed a passion in helping others, within and outside the country.

According to Taqiuddin, he learned and was able to adapt to the culture of people from neighbouring countries when he participated in volunteer programmes in Vietnam and Indonesia.

“Asean students, especially those under YSS are able to move between cultural realms to learn and appreciate the values and customs of people of other countries.

“This out-of-class learning experience is crucial in realising the one vision, one identity and one community concept,” said the finance and banking student from Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM).

A participant from China, Ma Wenxin @ Hind Hasan, 24, said the YSS programme had given him the opportunity to share his knowledge and experience with those in need.

He said when he participated in the YSS programme in Sarawak last July, he organised educational programmes for families in the rural areas, adding that he still maintained good relationships with the people.

“At the end of each volunteer programme we not only gained new experiences, but also made new friends and learned about their culture,” said the Masters in Development Studies undergraduate from Universiti Malaya.   

Indonesian student Ta’miratul Biroroh who joined YSS two years ago said he gained a lot of experience from those who have been active in volunteer programmes in their respective countries.

“We are drafting a volunteer plan and in April next year we will be organising a volunteer programme in a remote area in Indonesia, in collaboration with Malaysian students,” said the law student from Sunan Ampel State Islamic University, Surabaya.   

As part of the programme, the 200 volunteers at the six-day programme were taken for a tour to the National Library and Bank Negara Museum on Thursday.

Yesterday, the group visit the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Headquarters in Putrajaya and Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in Cyberjaya. – Bernama